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Confirm / Reaffirm Organizational Commitment to Leadership Development  Checkmark


Executive/senior leadership support and commitment to a leadership development program are essential. This support and commitment are necessary to obtain the resources needed to design, deliver, and evaluate an impactful program, and to the formation and maintenance of an adaptive productive learning culture.

The process expected to be followed to confirm or reaffirm commitment to leadership development will vary with each organization. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your organization’s expectations and processes.


 Decisions to be Made

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  1. Will we, as an organization, make a long-term commitment to leadership development?
  2. Can we get a formal commitment from our executive/senior leadership to support leadership development?


Guiding Questions

  • Are the organization’s executive/senior leaders committed to leadership development?
  • How can we convey the value of leadership development to the executive/senior leaders?
    1. Show how leadership development fits in with and supports the organization’s strategic direction, including the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) plan. This can be accomplished initially as a broad overarching perspective (using the questions below) that can be followed by an in-depth Needs Gap Analysis once you have leadership approval.
    2. Answer the following questions to help create your case and begin to develop your plan:

      a) Why do we need leadership development?

      b) What must be improved or changed?

      c) What have you noticed is wrong, missing, needing improvement?

      d) What EDI strategies and outcomes can be accomplished through leadership development?

      e) How will things be different as a result of the program?

      f) How will you know you are successful?

      g) What does success mean in terms of scope of impact?

    3. Consider putting together a formal business plan or project plan that includes budget. Incorporate thoughts on whether you plan to create and implement the plan yourself or use resources outside of the organization (outsourcing) for any parts of the program process.

      a) Review CHLNet’s Bench II Study on benchmarking the health leadership gap in Canada for details on the identified need for leadership development.

      b) Review the CHLNet LDI toolkit for details on determining and communicating program impact and return on investment (ROI). Review the Budget/Funding section of this toolkit for budget considerations.

      c) If plan on using resources outside of the organization, you will need to identify timing of and information for a Request for Proposal (RFP), and determine what intellectual property conversations that need to happen. See Decision Support and Resources sections below for more detail.

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 Enablers of Success

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  • Earning executive/senior leader support of and commitment to leadership development is essential. Ensure that executive/senior leaders value leadership development as an investment in people, as an organizational strategic priority, and as a key performance enabler at all levels. This investment needs to be visibly supported and modeled by executive/senior leaders and the Board
  • The purpose of leadership development can be specified by aligning the desired outcomes with the organization’s values, vision, EDI plan, strategic plan, and context. Context includes the internal and external circumstances of the organization and its people. Demonstrating alignment will show relevance of the program to the organization, will initiate the perception of the importance of the program and could result in the provision of approval, support, and resources.
  • Outlining how leadership development programing integrates with other organizational interventions, especially human resource and organizational development practices is beneficial in gaining and maintaining organizational support.
  • Learning and effective leadership should ideally be part of everyone’s role; however, it is important to identify specific people to be officially held accountable for system-wide leadership development. This accountability will aid in showing the importance of leadership development across the organization and will help gain support from the executive and the Board.
  • Establish that leadership development will be conducted based on evidence. The effectiveness and credibility of leadership development are enhanced when the design is evidence informed. This will aid in gaining executive/senior leader and Board support for a leadership development program.
  • Reaffirming organizational support for a program is most likely successful when the value of leadership development can be shown through the achievement of desired outcomes and the return on investment (ROI).
  • Reviewing the toolkit in its entirety early in the leadership development program process will allow any outsourcing needs to be identified early. Determining outsourcing needs early in the program development process and acting on those needs quickly will result in a well-informed and well-timed RFP process and reduce potential related delays.

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 Potential Barriers to Success

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  • Programs not aligned to the organization’s values, vision, EDI plan, strategic plan, and context will result in a program that underperforms and is unable to maximize the outcomes of leadership development.
  • Leadership development program proposals that do not show potential impact to organizational outcomes and budget projections do not provide the executive with the information they need to make an informed decision and could lead to rejection of leadership development by the organization.

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 Decision Support

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Intellectual Property (IP)

Who owns what?

When creating a program, especially when you are outsourcing any services, products, programs, etc. it is important to understand what IP is and be aware of IP laws.

Basically, IP is any creation of human intellect, tangible or intangible. To learn more about the basics of tangible and intangible IP, visit the Government of Canada Intellectual Property Office Website-Understand the Basics.

In learning and development, content such as course material and technologies are forms of intellectual property. The person or organization that owns the IP is generally the one that creates the content or contracts with another party to create content on their behalf.

If your company pays you to create content, then the company owns the IP rights to that material. When your organization contracts with a supplier to deliver a course for you, you are essentially licensing the rights to view its course materials for a given period of time. When you contract with an instructor to deliver a course on your behalf, you are not giving away the IP rights to that instructor or the company he or she works for. Similarly, viewing or participating in a course does not give learners implied rights of ownership to deliver the same materials or information in that form to another party.

Organizations can license their IP for use for a specified period of time, which is expressed and agreed upon in the contract.

Adapted from Rutherford, S. (2019). “Request for Proposal (RFP) Guide”, Training Industry.


Request for Proposal (RFP)

What is an RFP?

RFP stands for request for proposal. An RFP is a document that lists out all the requirements and needs of a project. Companies create an RFP for upcoming projects, as a form of proposal to potential contractors and agencies. It is used as a funding announcement for a request for bids.

Check with your organization’s procurement department and become informed on procurement and outsourcing policies and processes including whether an RFP is required in your organization.

When should an RFP be submitted?

Once you have assessed your program needs, determine what you need to outsource and obtained the necessary organizational approvals you are ready to submit your request for RFP (per your organization’s policy and process).

It is important to note that this is not a process that can happen with a tight turn around time, therefore, early forethought and preparation will help speed up this process if it is determined that you need to outsource any part of your leadership development program design, delivery or evaluation.


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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

  • Empowering Women Leaders in Health (EWoLiH), Empowering Women Leaders in Health Initiative
    The overall goal of the EWoLiH initiative is to achieve transformative systemic change in healthcare, health sciences, and Indigenous health contexts through the increased participation, visibility, and advancement of women in leadership positions. The aim is to achieve this goal by building an active, effective and sustainable network and community of practice. Available on this platform is a set of overlapping toolkits that contain key evidence-informed tools.
  • EWoLiH Ally Toolkit: Toolkit to Support Men as Allies, Empowering Women Leaders in Health Initiative
    Men have an important role to play as allies, mentors and sponsors supporting women and gender diverse people from different backgrounds to move into leadership roles. The toolkit is a database of resources for would-be men allies who wish to support inclusive health leadership.
  • EWoLiH Ally Toolkit: Toolkit to Support Diverse Leadership, Empowering Women Leaders in Health Initiative
    A toolkit of resources in support of Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Peoples, Black Women & Women of Colour, Gender Diverse People and Women living with Disabilities in leadership.
  • EWoLiH LEADS Based EDI Toolkit, Empowering Women Leaders in Health Initiative
    A toolkit of resources to make the case for inclusive leadership.
  • A toolkit designed to support and guide mainstream organizations on their journeys towards creating safer environments for Indigenous People.
  • San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training, Provincial Health Services Authority in BC
    Training created in response to the Transformative Change Accord First Nations Health Plan requirement to increase cultural competency within Health Authorities.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Program Impact and Return on Investment (ROI)

Program Need

Request for Proposal (RFP)

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Colvin, S. and Bishop, S. 2020. “Putting LEADS to Work in Provincial Health Regions.” In Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment, 2nd ed. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Geerts, J. M. 2020. “Canadian Health Leadership Network: Wise Practices of Leadership Development Technical Report.” Technical Report. Canadian Health Leadership Network.

Government of Canada. 2021. “Canadian Intellectual Property Office.” Home page. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. 2021. http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/Home

Rutherford, S. 2019. “Request for Proposal (RFP) Guide.” Training Industry (blog). 2019. https://trainingindustry.com/request-for-proposal-rfp-guide/

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